Will the digital and virtual worlds become occult universes tomorrow?

Dn this new column, we wish to approach once again with our readers a theme that cannot leave us indifferent. This subject touches on developments in cognitive science, digital and digital technologies. All economists, researchers, sociologists, predict a fabulous development of the digital economy and the virtual world into which we have indeed entered in less than two decades. Technological developments linked to the digital world, although they fascinate us, are not without dangers, in particular those linked to their powers, their new capacities to trace our actions and actions. We therefore wanted to address two hidden threats posed by these technologies on man, one affecting his mind, the other affecting his resources. It is these propensities for the capture of the machine on the human being that we therefore wanted to find somehow, to highlight to awaken our caution.

Does the spell of the digital world impose itself today as a reality?

The digital world like the virtual world could they tomorrow be like an occult world of which we would have accepted the worlds of entertainment, control and prediction concerning the orientations given to our life…? The databases of the main websites thus use, exploit and mobilize a quantity of information which makes it possible to refine the correlations between our activities and the environment in which we operate and this on scales much more massive and more detailed than us. could imagine it. The virtual world, which merges with reality, also promises to disconnect us from our daily lives. Doesn't this virtual world also open doors to a magical world, but no doubt nightmarish tomorrow?

Thus with the new objects of the digital world, we can plan and organize our life in relation or according to data concerning the weather that will be from our smartphone and identify the friends that we could meet, friends who took care of leave information allowing them to be geolocated. During our trip we let ourselves be tempted to go to a restaurant, where we can pay with our bank account from our smartphone. Which restaurant, knowing that we are in the area, sends us promotional information on our smartphone to invite us to take a menu at a very special price and not be confused by the neighboring competitor whose menu is so attractive.

To get there, our GPS advises us another route due to work carried out near this restaurant. Then after having dinner and ordering our meal on a large digital screen, we decide to end our evening in virtual worlds by immersing ourselves in that of screens, of augmented reality to entertain us and immerse ourselves in imaginary universes. These universes which mobilize all our senses, where we feel as if in reality but transported to another world where our senses, all our senses vibrate and seem to interact. These virtual universes make us experience supra natural emotions, connected relationships, lives 'in absentia'. Our imagination begins to believe that we are touching there, another world, that we have somehow passed to the other side as in the magic cabinet of Narnia. A 'magical' world but one that can also be terrifying when we are brought back to our reality.

We are thus seduced by the virtual world. Here we are, organized and managed by the digital world. It is indeed this "fascinating" world which is emerging and which we gradually accept to deliver to it without thinking about it, or even appreciating all the consequences induced. It is also to this bewitching world that we deliver our consciousness wanting to experience new sensations without discerning the disastrous effects. These "data" gradually take possession of ourselves, these virtual worlds invade our intimate world a bit like the occult world ...

Our gestures, our uses, our practices and our actions in this virtual world as in the digital world are likely to participate in the construction of knowledge without our consent and of dependencies without our conscience having really wanted it. Little by little, the data lock us up in " segments and behavioral sets »Linked to the traces we leave after our visits to the Internet. Little by little virtual worlds will end up hypnotizing our minds because it is likely that the televisions of tomorrow will be objects that will project us into unreal worlds displaying almost supernatural shows. Let us be sure with regret that tomorrow we will spend much more time in these worlds than taking time out for a good beer or sharing a cup of coffee with a sick friend.

Virtual worlds and "data" which gradually develop their grip, invading our intimate world a bit like the occult world ...

Wouldn't the modern world lead us towards this occult world, that of magical and fantastic objects. As these objects of modernity take shape today, they bring us very surprisingly, I agree, to the New Testament from which rich lessons can be drawn.

Thus in the account of Acts, Luke the Evangelist dwells on Paul's missionary journey and his ministry to the Ephesians. The city of Ephesus in the first century foreshadows in miniature the Babylonian civilization described by the apostle John as a civilization that had become a habitation of demons, the "" lair "From every unclean spirit". To return to Ephesus the city during this first century is characterized by occult practices, the sciences touching the secrets of nature. Acts tell us that a large number of the inhabitants of Ephesus practiced magic, Acts XIX.17, a city where several inhabitants were themselves and apparently bound by demonic practices.

The contemporary digital world and its virtual objects seem in appearance far from this occult universe described in the Acts of the Apostles, at least in appearance. However, the digital world pushed to its extremes does lead to a form of dependence and control over the subjects who consume it, certain virtual games that cause a feeling of pleasure, relaxation, well-being, even euphoria are also recognized. as being able to cause disorientation, disturbances and significant psychic disorders, similar to people said to be possessed.

However, we realize that this digital universe is likely to ultimately create a form of fascination and vampirization on the lives of humans by making them addictive, dependent. The life of digital objects, screens increasing reality, is ultimately akin to those occult objects that were current in this period of antiquity when books of magic abounded. Books of magic that fascinated and opened up spaces offering promises of a better life. However, we can see that digital technology in certain cases turns out to operate like a magic book. A book of magic that has undergone a form of mutation transforming itself into a modern object of sympathetic countenance and harmless appearance. This magic book is today this virtual screen increasing reality, leading its subjects into the experience of “spatio-temporal” derealization.

Let us remind our readers that magic is defined as a practice based on "The belief in the existence of supernatural beings or powers and of occult natural laws thus making it possible to act on the material world ". By defining magic in this way, we then become aware that this digital and virtual world full of seduction and enchantment promises us to live in another world which is very much like a form of bewitchment. This provokes in many of his subjects, real psychic crises. These personality disorders linked to the practice of virtual games are reported by many experts who have been interested in these forms of disembodied entertainment and the consequences relating to the addiction of these same practices.

The materialistic world in which we are immersed does not thus escape the attraction of a form of divination temptation. This world could well be seduced by the occult universes which somehow produce the fascination and the use of digital and virtual objects which we accept that they can entertain, ultimately control our existence and even predict it. Today and to reinforce our remarks relating to this temptation of divination, some do not hesitate, to find their alter ego, to rely on the machine, on a form of AI (artificial intelligence) to get closer to the 'soul mate. This modern practice of entrusting one's destiny to a machine is similar to the divinatory books consulted by the inhabitants of Ephesus (the book of Acts chapter XIX) and who thus wished to read the future or have a better fate. The soul mate who could also be met in an artefact, a virtual and paradisiacal world promising to experience amplified sensations if our encounters, in the real world, could not finally be realized.

We thus see the fascination operated by this new magic, the hold that AI can also exert, becoming a form of third consciousness, a kind of superego. This superego endowed with unparalleled knowledge or at least a capacity for calculation which exceeds human understanding. This IA which is able in an instant T, to bring to the man the good decisions, the good orientations. This superego which, reducing the share of risk by systematically gathering all the possible data, would predict the possible consequences of its choices.

This is where we bring AI closer to a mechanized and predictive form of divination, it is ultimately a device that is likely to reduce freedom, the intangible and mysterious part of human existence in the face of its future. .

We must also see the addiction to the virtual world as another change in the level of consciousness, delivering consciousness to a world susceptible by intoxicating it, to lock it up, to possess it. This magic could well resemble this world described by the apostle John in the book of the apocalypse, a world which he likens to a den of demons.

We must entertain humanity and enrich ourselves

In this part of our text, after having analyzed the dangers to which the enchantment of innovation in a digital world without a cursor leads, we want to raise awareness: this fascination ultimately has no other objects than '' enrich the authors of these algorithms.

In a way, the digital world is indeed bringing our world to a halt. This is indeed the totalizing dimension, while giving the appearance of the innocence of the objects that surround us, true sensors of information, sensors of data and practices affecting our daily lives. The resources of the merchants of the digital world indeed derive their benefits from our behavior which they have made dependent, from our strange fascination for the entertainment of the virtual world.

Today, the companies with the largest market capitalizations in the world are companies which live mainly from our digital uses (Apple, Alphabet (Google), Microsoft, Facebook, Amzon.com), the companies mentioned are ranked among the first in the world . We can bet that several companies in the digital economy will join them.

In fact, in our contemporary world, we are witnessing a total commodification of life, a consumerist intensification affecting the very objectification of life. The digitization of the world thus makes it possible to map each existence, we are witnessing massively and passively the emergence of a 'soft' monster which places us under the seal of its technological and financial prostheses. We are entering a form of pernicious and malicious enslavement of Babylonian society ... Our worship is that of the mercantile society which gives us the illusion of fertility and abundance, dispensing us from any other worship rendered to the God creator of heavens and earth.

This continuous visibility of our life is a form of soft diktat but turns out to be in reality a real enslavement, a subordination to an invisible world, ultimately what is qualified in the Scriptures as a form of occult empire, of divine temptation, touching on an invisible and virtual world, relating to the knowledge of what is hidden.

Take for example the 'bitcoin' crypto currency created by a nickname known as Satoshi Nakamoto, among the 600 and some virtual currencies. Many articles have been published about it and yet, it still remains an enigma, without the common people of which I am part, not knowing very well who are the real initiators and who holds the levers today ... Monero , one of its 'competitors' yet prances at the head of crypto currencies, one of the latest borns deemed 'secure, private, non-traceable' ... Everything has been said about bitcoin, it would be used for hidden financial exercises on the 'darknet', trafficking and settling of scores of all kinds, because inviolable again… Who benefits from this currency if not to an already very real occult world?

Just as it has already been the case with bitcoin, hackers can track down loopholes in any system and thus 'steal' data, steal your 'virtually protected' assets and take over your identity, your 'memory' in the computer. cloud, your electronic signature for all kinds of reasons, not very shining, one suspects it. What security offers us this world in which we are engulfed so much it is apparently, vector of the future? A mirror with larks which misleads the man of this 21st century in the only universe never explored by a homo sapiens.

We take up here the words of the philosopher Éric SADIN who affirms that " that we are in the process of achieving dystopia, but we go there enthusiastic, amazed, in a state of blissful sleepwalking. Sometimes there are realizations, like the one triggered by Edward Snowden. What he revealed about intelligence agencies is eminently reprehensible, but today we are way beyond the surveillance he unearthed. Through our behavior, through the growing use of connected objects, we are helping to establish continuous visibility of our life ”.

The continued visibility of our life on the Internet, via the digital economy, the dependence on virtual promises puts us in the grip of a soft and ultimately nightmarish monster.

According to the philosopher Eric Sadin and joined by many Christians, many of our fellow citizens and politicians remain particularly blind as to the extent of the serious civilizational consequences induced by the digital industry.

We should therefore be particularly wary of the almost wild infiltration of digital objects that invade our daily lives and our habitat. A wild infiltration which, in an insidious way, promises mountains and wonders, wanting to enchant our world. This enchantment forms an artefact which intends to repair our real world, but which remains a deeply virtual world. The digital universe is thus a society that is ultimately hidden, obscuring the hold it wants to exercise over everyone, by controlling, auscultating, monitoring and responding to the slightest of our artificial needs.

How also with the emergence of the virtual world, then wonder at the growing frustrations of this generation bathed in the entertainment of screens. A generation which regretfully confuses real life and virtual life, symbols and reality, a generation which disconnects from any relation to transcendence, which magnifies a form of ecology without having contact with nature. We then understand the terms used by the apostle John when he speaks of Babylon as a den of merchants and a den where unclean spirits nest. This world could well be associated with a place of demonology, since man absorbed, fascinated, hypnotized by digital magic has ended up delivering his soul and his conscience to it. A man potentially connected to the occult world, if he does not know how to use the digital world for good purposes by mastering its use, could thus leave the door open to demons.

Yet a reasoned and benevolent digital world does exist

However, as Christians, we cannot despise and throw to the dust the digital power that frees itself from the borders that stand against the Gospel, in the worlds of totalitarian countries where, in particular, Christians are persecuted, we carry so far. 'to them a magnificent message through a tool that ultimately does not obey administrative boundaries ...

We do not wish to conclude on a negative note concerning the Internet either, on this “sixth continent”. Our purpose is rather to launch a warning message on the desire to identify a cursor on our uses, to launch a work on the ethics to be initiated around digital innovation, to identify the issues and to analyze the problems that could lead to the misuse of algorithms. It would therefore be time to require web companies to create bridges and bridges with the world of shops, local brands so that they do not disappear, to promote as much as possible embodied encounters, mutual aid or citizen information that mobilizes when an emergency has made an appointment.

Finally, we want as much as possible to enhance the dimension of contacts that can translate into real relationships, bringing together those who are far from us. We also see in this universe the possibility of reaching those who are isolated, those who do not have the possibility of leaving the walls, for many sick and disabled people, very isolated people, the Internet tool can prove to be a place of escape and reassurance and provoke relationships and finally the hoped-for visits. To end our remarks, we also want to emphasize the ease of access to knowledge, knowledge, and through the reasoned use of the digital tool, to deepen the knowledge of the subjects that mobilize our interest.

Eric Lemaitre

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